Rajasthan’s Gypsy Tribe: Interesting Facts about Kalbeliya Dance and Folk Music

Interesting Facts about Kalbeliya Dance and Folk Music

Since centuries, dance has been a great source of entertainment in India. The royal families used to get entertained by music and dance. One such dance form is Kalbeliya that we will be going to discuss in this article.


Since centuries, dance has been a great source of entertainment in India. The royal families used to get entertained by
Dance form that is fast, unique and mind blowing is known as the “Kalbeliya Dance”. It is performed by Rajasthan’s kalbelia gypsy who uses woodwind instrument to create a good music. This is not only a dance form but it also represents   Gypsy Culture in Rajasthan.   The areas near Jaisalmer welcome tourists to experience the tribal environment. The customary food, bonfire in the dessert and stunning performance by the gypsies all sows their cultural values.


A few years back this tribe used to work as snake handlers and now they work as a full time artist. Kalbelia is one such way to make their identity a true one. This tribal community gives such an amazing performance on traditional music while travelling from one place to another. They use woodwind instrument to create a good music. Without any discrimination, both men and women contribute to the dance performance.


Here are some interesting Facts about Kalbelia tribe –

  1. Unafraid of Death:   “kaal” means death and these tribal people aren’t afraid of their lives. They are always ready to complete their task on time. Using woodwind, they handle the snakes risking their life. These people are fair hearted that they focus on saving the lives instead of killing them.
  2. The type of tribe:   These people belong to scheduled tribe. They forecast their talent of such a sensuous dance from door to door. You can find this tribe mostly in ajmer, chittorgarh and Udaipur district of Rajasthan.
  3. The survival:   We are so lucky to have roof over our head to protect us from extreme weather conditions and from day/ night. But these cobra gypsies live a life of a nomad. They don’t have a persistent living and need to struggle a lot to earn money.
  4. The celebration spot:   The  Gypsy   festival is celebrated at mehrangarh fort in rajasthan every year with great anticipation. You get to hear different types of Kalbelia songs on this occasion.
  5. Bopa and Kalbelia Groups:   Bopa group people focus on music where as Kalbelia are more into dance (snake charmers). Their talent used to be admired by the Royal families and is still acknowledged by the modern society.
  6. Socio-cultural identity:   Those amazing whirl of Kalbelia people is a signature of their socio cultural identity. The dancers are always ready to perform either on some special occasion or any other festival.
  7. Traditional Dress: &nbsp Women of Kalbelia   Gypsy   wear black dress that has a silver material lining on the skirt. Jewelley is oxidized and bangles all over the hand. Their attire is quirky and appealing that perfectly matches with their passion.
  8. Folk Music:   Nowadays, we often switch to the internet to listen to the latest fusion and hits. But the enjoyment to hear the folk music is completely different. To make people understand the value of heritage.
  9. The Gypsy Men:   These cobra gypsies are dressed with a turban, top with heavy mirror work design. They wear a silver jewellery that completely matches their whole attire.
  10. Song Composition:   The most famous kalbeliya song is “ara ra ra ra” that has fast beats and involves full body movement. Women of this gypsy have originally composed it and also sing it live on an ongoing performance.
  11. Unique musical instruments:   The main instrument is poonji that has another word “been” which is generally used to control snakes. But these people use it for their show. Dholak and khanjari are other instruments that are used to make the performance worth watching.


Can you imagine traveling for days without a guarantee for food and shelter? It’s even difficult to imagine. But the kalbelia tribe eyes are always excited and ready for the extreme challenges of life. Their enthusiasm shows their pure spirit and dedication towards their work. The extraordinary thing to know is that these tribal people have still maintained the gypsy culture in Rajasthan. It is always appreciable to watch them giving a live performance. Don’t miss out this vibrant performance; visit Rajasthan to meet this heritage.


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